Effective ways to keep burglars at bay

Effective ways to keep burglars at bay

Your home should be a haven where you and your family feel safe.

Every time you go out, however, you may leave your home defenceless. And there’s no shortage of people who may want to make what’s yours theirs.

Burglaries can have an impact beyond financial loss. The violation of a home can leave people feeling frightened and vulnerable, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

There’s a huge variety of home security systems on the market. You can choose exactly what features you need – whether you want to control your home’s integrity, respond to any potential intrusion, observe your property when you’re away or have a fully-automated back-to-base system.

Many home security packages feature wireless technology, touch-screen panels, high-definition cameras and automated lights and locks.

Your home security network can be linked to an app on your phone or tablet, meaning that wherever you are, you’ll be aware of the situation at home.

Wired security systems typically cost less and have fewer components than wireless set-ups. Wired systems can bypass a home’s electrical outlets and tap into a landline.

Each system has pros and cons: wired systems don’t rely on batteries (as wireless systems do), but are more vulnerable to professional thieves cutting a cord and disabling them.

Police recommend that households obtain at least three quotes from licensed security companies before investing in a monitored intruder-alarm system.

If a security system is out of your reach, you can still take steps to reduce the risk of your home becoming a target for burglars:

  • Install quality locks on doors and windows, and put security lighting around your home. Don’t ‘‘hide’’ spare keys outside. Deadlock all doors and windows, even when you’re at home. Lock gates to restrict side or rear access. Install laminated glass, metal bars or shutters or reinforce windows with shatter-resistant film.
  • If you purchase large, expensive items, don’t leave the packaging on the nature strip on rubbish day. Break the packaging into small pieces and place it in the recycling bin.
  • Ensure your front doors and windows are clearly visible from the street, not obscured by shrubs.
  • Mark your property. Engraving your name and driver’s licence number on valuables makes it harder for thieves to sell what they steal and easier for you to identify your property.
  • Get a dog with a decent bark. Even a ‘‘Beware of Dog’’ sign can be a deterrent.
  • Lock away ladders and garden tools that burglars could use to gain access to your home.
  • Install a small safe in which to store cash and jewellery.
  • Get to know your neighbours. They may be willing to look out for unusual activity when you’re away, and collect mail and bins.